Teeth Whitening In

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental treatment used to improve discoloration and staining of the teeth. A whitening gel containing the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth for a certain amount of time and this effectively bleaches intrinsic tooth stains by breaking down staining molecules through oxygenation.

Oxygen molecules in the whitening gel break apart the staining compounds that are causing discoloration. The hydrogen peroxide also increases the porosity of the teeth so that the whitening agent can reach the deeper layers of the teeth to treat intrinsic stains as well as extrinsic stains. Contact us at Ladd Family Dental today to schedule an appointment.

teeth whitening in Greenville

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Teeth whitening can last up to 3 years with proper maintenance.

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How It Works: The Teeth Whitening Process

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Dr. Ladd will examine your teeth to rule out oral health problems before approving you for teeth whitening. He will also determine the severity of your tooth discoloration before developing your treatment plan.

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We recommend that you get a dental cleaning before whitening your teeth. This removes surface stains so the peroxide has no barriers to reaching your tooth enamel.

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For at-home whitening, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab so they can create custom-made whitening trays. If you are in for an in-office treatment, we will prep you with a tooth expander and glasses to protect your eyes.

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For at-home whitening, we will call you when your whitening trays arrive and provide you with instructions on how to get optimal results. It may take a few weeks to see whitening results. For In-office whitening, we will apply the whitening agent and activate it with a UV light that brightens your teeth up to several shades lighter in just one appointment!

Teeth Whitening Options

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In-Office Whitening

Get up to several shades lighter in one treatment with in-office whitening. During your appointment, Dr. Ladd will place an expander in your mouth to keep you from coming into contact with the whitening agent. Then, we’ll provide you with glasses to keep you protected from the light used to activate the whitening agent.

Next, we apply the whitening solution to your teeth which will be activated by the light. You will wait for about 45 minutes to an hour for the treatment to work. Once complete, you’ll leave the office with a bright, beautiful smile that’s several shades whiter.

Take-Home Whitening

Did you know that you can get ADA-approved dental-grade teeth whitening at home? What separates take-home whitening apart from in-office whitening and drugstore whitening trays is that you get the same convenience and flexibility of drugstore products but with the professional advisement and expert whitening products of a dental office.

When we fabricate your custom-made whitening trays from impressions that are taken of your mouth, this prevents irritation and damage to your soft tissues by preventing the whitening agent from coming in contact with your soft tissues.

This also ensures that the whitening agent stays where it’s supposed to - directly on your teeth. The concentration of peroxide is higher than in drugstore trays but is FDA-approved and safe for use on your teeth.

The concentration is not as high as in-office whitening, which is why you need to wear your whitening trays every day for the duration specified by your Greenville dentist. This may take up to 2 weeks to produce the desired results. This is also safer for use on sensitive teeth because lower peroxide concentration causes less tooth sensitivity.

Did you know…

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Avoid tobacco products and sip through a straw to preserve your whitening results.

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Have questions about TEETH WHITENING? Find answers here.

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Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Yes, teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity, particularly in high-concentration whitening treatments like in-office whitening. However, this is only a temporary side effect caused by demineralization that exposes the dentin layer of your teeth which is connected to your tooth’s nerves. 

To reduce sensitivity, you should avoid foods and drinks at extreme temperatures for a few days. Tooth sensitivity should only last for about 48 hours until your teeth remineralize. You can brush your teeth with toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth, try desensitizing gel, or take anti-inflammatory pain medication. 

If you already have sensitive teeth or are concerned about tooth sensitivity, the take-home whitening process causes less sensitivity because it has a lower peroxide concentration.

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Benefits of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening will approve the cosmetic appearance of your teeth and your smile. This can make you feel more confident and open more doors for you socially as well as for your career. Studies show that people with whiter teeth are more likely to get hired and even receive higher pay. 

This can be attributed to increased confidence and self-esteem improving the way job candidates carry themselves but it also has to do with something known as the halo effect – attributing positive qualities to someone based on their aesthetic smile.

Teeth whitening is the most affordable cosmetic treatment and it’s also minimally invasive while producing drastic results. Your teeth can be lightened by up to 10 shades after one session of in-office whitening. Feeling better about your smile and banishing severe tooth stains can improve your mental health and overall quality of life.

What Should I Expect Before Getting My Teeth Whitened?

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In-office teeth whitening is a quick treatment that just takes about 60 minutes to produce powerful whitening results, but you should be prepared to know that take-home whitening takes much longer. 

If you’d like to whiten your teeth from home, you will need to wear your whitening trays for a specified amount of time each day for up to 2 weeks to achieve the same results. It’s also advisable to get your teeth cleaned before having your teeth whitened. 

This can remove plaque buildup, food particles, and bacteria from your teeth to provide a fresh and clean surface so the whitening agent can penetrate through the teeth undisturbed. During this appointment, Dr. Ladd will examine your teeth for oral health problems. 

It’s important to be in good oral health when receiving teeth whitening. You can prepare for your whitening treatment ahead of time by using desensitizing toothpaste about 2 weeks ahead of time which will reduce sensitivity.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

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Teeth whitening lasts anywhere from 6 months to 3 years depending on how often you expose your teeth to stains and how well you practice good oral hygiene. You should avoid tobacco products entirely and get dental cleanings every 6 months. 

Cleanings will remove surface stains that build up on your teeth. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly every day. No matter how well you practice good oral hygiene, you still need to limit your exposure to stains if you want to maintain your white teeth. 

Coffee, tea, red wine, soda, dark sauces, and berries are common offenders that can cause significant discoloration.

How Often Do I Need to Get My Teeth Whitened?

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This ultimately depends on how well you maintain your white teeth through oral hygiene, dental appointments, and avoidance of stains. Limiting or avoiding stains will preserve the results of your whitening treatment but it is ultimately a temporary treatment.

Some patients may be able to maintain their white teeth through prevention and regular dental cleanings while others may need to return for routine whitening touch-ups. This will vary on a case-by-case basis but the best thing you can do is prevent your exposure to stains. 

You can rinse your mouth out after eating or drinking and sip through a straw to limit the contact that foods and drinks have with your teeth.